Episode 3

The Two Anwars

How did the Branch 251 trial actually come about? 

Your hosts Karam and Fritz talked to someone who played an important role in transforming the terrible stories of these crimes into legal cases: Anwar Al Bunni. He has been instrumental in building the case and kick-starting this first criminal trial against Syrian officials. 

He was also imprisoned himself simply because he was doing his job as a human rights lawyer defending political prisoners in Syria. Eight years ago, he was detained in Branch 251 and was face to face with the main accused Anwar R. who slapped him in the face. But then, he saw him again, years later. In a refugee center in Berlin. And now, once more, in a court of law.

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You can follow us on Twitter @Fritz_Streiff and @KaramShoumali.


Some additional sources on this episode and the trial here:


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About the Podcast

Show artwork for Branch 251
Branch 251
Syrian Atrocity Crimes on Trial

About your hosts

Profile picture for Fritz Streiff

Fritz Streiff

Fritz is a human rights lawyer with a focus on investigations and case-building in the fields of atrocity crimes and anti-corruption. International justice is his big passion. Though podcasts follow pretty closely. He is currently based in Paris, France.

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Noor Hamadeh


Noor Hamadeh is a Syrian-American international lawyer and a nonresident fellow with the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy with a focus on business and human rights in Syria and the MENA region generally. Noor is now based in Chicago, IL
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Asser Khattab

Asser is a freelance journalist and researcher from Syria who has reported on the Middle East from Lebanon for the Washington Post and the Financial Times; from Syria for the Spanish News Agency and others. He now lives in Paris, France.
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Saleem Salameh

Saleem Salameh is an independent writer, filmmaker and podcast producer. Saleem joined multiple Arabic podcast platforms and released five different podcasts. He also trains newcomers and human rights activists on scriptwriting and podcast making. He is currently based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
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Pauline Peek

Pauline Peek is a research assistant, production assistant and history student who also happens to possess a bachelor’s degree in singing. Originally from the Netherlands, she is currently based in Berlin, Germany.
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Hannah El-Hitami

Hannah is a German-Egyptian freelance journalist focused on sociopolitical topics from Arab countries, as well as migration and human rights issues. She has worked for the Amnesty Journal and published in Der Spiegel, Al Jazeera, Justice Info, among others. She is currently based in Berlin, Germany.